Wilson Silver Platter/ Tray from Mid-19th Century for Ivy League UPenn Alum
Robert and William Wilson, silver platter or tray, from the mid-19th century, with a gadrooned rim and exquisitely engraved foliate motifs. It measures 17 1/2'' in length by 13 1/4'' in width by 7/8'' in height, weighs 49.8 troy ounces and bears hallmarks as shown. The dedication to Hon. N.B. Browne at the center can be related to Nathaniel Borradaile Browne, (1819-1875), a Philadelphia lawyer, businessman, and public servant. He served in both the federal and the Pennsylvania state governments, worked on the Philadelphia Centennial in Fairmount Park, and became the first president of Fidelity Trust Company. He was an Ivy League alum of the prestigious University of Pennsylvania.
Robert & William Wilson were American silversmiths in Philadelphia, active in partnership from roughly 1825–1846, then continuing as a mark until 1877. It was succeeded by William Wilson & Son. Robert and William Wilson were brothers. They helped champion the Rococo Revival style. After Robert died in 1846, the company continued to mark goods as R & W Wilson for another 30 years. Around 1860 its factory was located at the northwest corner of Fifth and Cherry Streets. Notable Philadelphia silversmith Peter L. Krider worked as an apprentice and a journeyman with the firm of Robert & William Wilson. Their work is in the permanent collection of prestigious museums, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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